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Muslim Americans are equally as likely to identify with their faith as they do with the U.S.Muslim Americans are somewhat less likely than U.S. Protestants and Mormons to identify “extremely” or “very” strongly with the U.S.; however, 69% identify strongly with the U.S. and 65% identify with their religion.
These findings are among many featured in a new report released Tuesday by the Abu Dhabi Gallup centre, Muslim Americans: Faith, Freedom, and the Future, based on Gallup surveys conducted throughout 2010.
Building on Gallup’s early 2009 report on America’s Muslim community, Muslim Americans: A National Portrait, this analysis tracks changes in Muslim Americans’ attitudes since 2008, delves into current social and political research topics, and provides a series of data-driven policy recommendations.
The report reveals that Muslim Americans are also less likely than Protestant Americans to strongly identify with those worldwide who share their religious identity. In no major U.S. religious group studied is there a conflict between loyalty to the U.S. and identifying with others around the world who share the same religion.
Rather, in every group, including Muslim Americans, people who identify extremely strongly with the U.S. are also more likely to identify strongly with their worldwide religious identity.
Muslim Americans With Strong Sense of Belonging More Likely to Be “Thriving”
The percentage of Muslim Americans who rate their lives high enough to be considered “thriving” has increased more over the past two years than that of any other major religious group in the U.S. A regression analysis sheds light on the traits most closely associated with thriving in every major religious group.
Among U.S. Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and Mormons, a college education, a high level of religious observance (attending services at least once a week), and confidence in national security organisations such as the FBI are all predictive of thriving. These same traits plus a few others—including strongly identifying with the U.S.—are also predictive of Muslim Americans’ likelihood to thrive.
U.S. Muslims who have a strong identification with the broader Muslim world, sometimes known as the Ummah, are more likely to be thriving. The connection between identification with the global Muslim community and thriving is somewhat stronger among Muslim American women than it is among men. In the case of Muslim Americans, the variables most likely related to thriving paint a picture of residents fully embracing their national identity and their faith.
When examining the variables most closely associated with higher thriving rates for Muslim Americans, the degree to which thriving Muslim Americans demonstrate a sense of ownership and belonging to their country is noticeable.
These respondents feel equally American and Muslim, attending religious services regularly while strongly identifying with the U.S. Further, their confidence in the FBI demonstrates that this group does not feel particularly or unfairly suspected by their government.
It is also important to note that like other religious groups in the U.S., Muslim Americans’ strong identification with those around the world who share their religious identity does not diminish their sense of national identity.
About the Report
Muslim Americans: Faith, Freedom, and the Future is based on a nationally representative study of Muslim American perceptions and the views of other major religious groups in the U.S. The report compares trends on Americans’ life evaluations over the past three years as well as probes Muslim and non-Muslim perceptions on issues of national identity, terrorism, foreign policy, religious discrimination, and political participation.
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